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Take Your Pasta Game Up A Notch With These Amazing and Fun Shapes

The classic pasta shapes are classic for a good reason; they’re versatile and widely available. However, if you can branch out to something a little more interesting with ruffles or a unique shape, you’ll be rewarded with a bowl that’s more engaging to eat. Although you might have to visit special stores, it’s worth it. Here are five of the best pasta shapes to try in your next recipe.


This pasta shape is also called croxetti in some places. It is a homemade favorite because it’s as simple and fun to make as punching out cookies with cutters. However, it is more difficult to find it dried. 

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Corzetti looks like coins, and the name of this pasta comes from the corzetto, a 14th-century Genovese coin. Aside from its coin shape, it has decorative designs pressed into them on both sides with round embossed stamps. 


Busiate is another underrated pasta shape that you’ll love. It is flat and tightly coiled in shape. Producers make busiate by wrapping rolled pasta strands around a twig, knitting needle, or any other long and skinny tool to create the coils. 

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The size of each piece can range from maker to maker, from about three inches to over five. However, you might want to start small if making noodles yourself. Busiate’s typical accompaniment is Trapani-style pesto, made with almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, and Pecorino. 


Calamarata is a short pasta shape with the shape of a thick ring. This type of pasta is originally from Naples. As you’ve probably already guessed, the makers of calamarata make it look like individual pieces of calamari. 

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Most lovers of calamarata commonly serve it with seafood or dye it black with squid ink. This pasta shape is similar to pacheri, though slightly shorter and rougher in texture. This pasta makes for a pleasantly chewy eating experience, and a taste will convince you.


Malloreddus is a pasta shape that people sometimes call Sardinian gnocchi. It is a semolina pasta often colored golden yellow because it includes saffron in the dough. It is a bit similar to another pasta shape, gnocchi.

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Unlike dumpling-shaped gnocchi, malloreddus is a bit of dough rolled along a textured board to create a rounded shape that’s open on the back. You can serve them with all styles of pasta sauce, but you’ll traditionally find them in bowls with fennel sausage and saffron-spiked tomato sauce.


Although this pasta shape is more common than others, many still haven’t tried it before. Zucca is an original pasta shape from the New York City–based pasta company Sfoglini. It looks like a big indented version of what they’re named for: pumpkins. 

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Like with the rigatoni shape, the large open space inside the pasta makes it ideal for sauces with chunks of meat, vegetables, or beans that can get delightfully stuck inside, though the company also recommends the shape for floating in soups.

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